The objective of this study was to determine whether ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) could serve as an alternative photon source efficiently for heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). An LED module consisting of 12 high-power UV-A LEDs was designed to be interchangeable with a UV-A fluorescent black light blue (BLB) lamp in a Silica-Titania Composite (STC) packed bed annular reactor. Lighting and thermal properties were characterized to assess the uniformity and total irradiant output. A forward current of (I(sub F)) 100 mA delivered an average irradiance of 4.0 m W cm(exp -2), which is equivalent to the maximum output of the BLB, but the irradiance of the LED module was less uniform than that of the BLB. The LED- and BLB-reactors were tested for the oxidization of 50 ppmv ethanol in a continuous flow-through mode with 0.94 sec space time. At the same irradiance, the UV-A LED reactor resulted in a lower PCO rate constant than the UV-A BLB reactor (19.8 vs. 28.6 nM CO2 sec-I), and consequently lower ethanol removal (80% vs. 91%) and mineralization efficiency (28% vs. 44%). Ethanol mineralization increased in direct proportion to the irradiance at the catalyst surface. This result suggests that reduced ethanol mineralization in the LED- reactor could be traced to uneven irradiance over the photocatalyst, leaving a portion of the catalyst was under-irradiated. The potential of UV-A LEDs may be fully realized by optimizing the light distribution over the catalyst and utilizing their instantaneous "on" and "off' feature for periodic irradiation. Nevertheless, the current UV-A LED module had the same wall plug efficiency (WPE) of 13% as that of the UV-A BLB. These results demonstrated that UV-A LEDs are a viable photon source both in terms of WPE and PCO efficiency.